January 30, 2008

WA: "a culture of cutting corners" at state crime lab

From the Seattle P-I:

Court throws out DUI breath tests - Other judges not bound to ruling condemning lab

Breath tests can't be used against many King County drunken-driving suspects until the State Patrol's toxicology lab can show that it has fixed ethical problems, scientific errors and carelessness that have called its work into question.

On Wednesday, three District Court judges found so many problems at the lab that they threw out the breath-test readings for eight drunken-driving suspects - a decision that could make it easier for drivers to avoid DUI raps around King County...

One hundred or more other DUI cases in King County District Court had been on hold for Wednesday's ruling. Defense attorneys say the decision could ultimately affect thousands of cases...